Let’s face it we can’t turn a corner without hearing about yet another data breach happening at yet another company. We have reached the point where it’s not if you will be attacked, it’s when you will be attacked. In this battle, the channel is proving its worth daily.
The channel now accounts for approximately 90% of all security solutions sold and provided to corporations in North America alone. Globally, the number varies from 80% to 95%. Why? Because channel partners are agnostic. They represent and provide the best solutions in the market, giving their end-user customers the confidence of knowing they have the best solution, not just what one security vendor offered them.
To say that the channel is a major solution provider for security would be an understatement of its value to firms looking to ensure their data and future are protected with the best solutions, at the most affordable cost to the bottom line. Just what are these channel ecosystem partners doing to help their customers fight off attacks, recover from attacks, and prevent future attacks?
To understand that, we need to look at a few common issues with protecting your business from bad actors and thus, where partners are helping to defend your data. Here’s a fast rundown of a few issues and related solutions the channel is working on that may help you to reconsider how you manage your risk.
1. It’s Your People
Why are attacks so successful? In large part, it’s the human factor that most puts your company at risk. What your employees or contractors with credentials do to defend your firm from attackers matters. Yet, most employees are woefully under-prepared to help serve as part of your security posture. In fact, according to the Verizon Data Breach Investigation Reports 2016-2021, the issues caused by your own employees include the fact that:
- 68% of passwords are weak, default, or stolen
- 58% of users “accidentally” share confidential information
- 30% of users open emails from attackers
- 12% click on attachments from attackers
How do Partners help? They offer up not only unique security solutions but also offer support to help train and manage your employees. Most firms don’t have the resources, and often lack the expertise, to drive this type of culture change—partners can change that.
The right partner will audit passwords and provide new compliance elements. By bringing training solutions that employees will consume and use to change their behavior like Ninjio, which is designed to be microlearning, the partner can reinforce through testing how your teams respond to common threats and continue to educate them until they get the risks and take the right actions. But, partners go way beyond just training.
2. So Many Devices, So Many Risks
Today, more internet devices are going on networks than any of us ever thought was possible. In fact, by 2030, it is estimated that there will be 125 billion IoT devices on the internet. With all these devices comes great innovation like smart buildings, asset tracking, and contactless retail.
However, they also come with a fair amount of risk—particularly for smaller businesses where their network monitoring may be less robust. These devices are always a top target for hackers. They look particularly for devices that are less monitored or known to access your network.
We’ve all heard the story about how one major retailer’s famous hack happened via their connected HVAC systems in a store. This is a common practice for attackers to attack outside the HQ and in an environment that may be less secure locally. Now, because remote work is so prevalent, we even have users’ home networks to contend with as well.
Once again, partners can help here, by providing unique solutions to manage these risks. As an example, many partners can offer a solution like Nodeware that ensures you never miss the addition of a new device on your network, or the discovery of a new vulnerability.
Providing real time alerts for new devices and new critical vulnerabilities can ensure you don’t open a back door via a device to your most precious asset—your data. Additionally, solutions like these also ensure you are meeting compliance requirements for your business, another great service partners can help provide to bridge your gaps.
3. So Many Attacks, So Much Downtime
Ransomware attacks can result in considerable business downtime. This is because breaches are very rarely limited to a single computer. Most of the ransomware in use today is designed to crawl business networks, looking for additional machines to infect to increase their negative impact.
If the malware goes undetected, it doesn’t take long for numerous user devices, servers, and even data in SaaS applications to become encrypted. Restores can be very time consuming, especially using traditional backup tools and existing IT staff.
So, it just makes sense that loss of business productivity and business-threatening downtime were at the top of the list of ransomware results and at the top of the list of areas where businesses used partners to help their business. Partners can help ensure a business continuity solution that enables businesses to return to work fast.
In 2021, Datto asked MSPs (Managed Services Providers) what industries were most susceptible to ransomware attacks due to COVID-19. Perhaps not surprisingly, healthcare was in the top spot. 59% of MSPs said they believed healthcare to be the most vulnerable.
Hackers are well known for staging attacks against victims that are unusually busy, preoccupied, or compromised in some manner. That’s why it makes sense that the cyber criminals would go after healthcare organizations during a global pandemic— they were distracted, and they paid for it.
Finance/insurance was in the second slot (50%) and Government in third (45%). These verticals were also seriously impacted by the pandemic for obvious reasons and hence at the top of the bad actors’ targets. Partners can help to augment your internal security when times are tough, or your industry is under attack leaving you with a more protected posture overall while not forcing you to add experienced staff and increase your headcount costs.
Final Thoughts on Channel Partners & Security
The above are just a few of the security risks inherent in our market today, and the risks are rising with new threats and new bad actors entering the market every minute of every day. Smart corporations are not only investing in their internal resources, systems, data and protocols to fight off attack but also utilizing the right expert partners to round out their resources, solutions and response time for security protection and just in the minute issues within their firms. What’s your partnering strategy to better protect your data and your business?
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